Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 29, 2013 02:15 PM

Moon cakes - where are you buying yours this year?

Last year, I did a moon cake taste testing. Was thinking about trying some new local bakeries or brands from the super markets. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Either at Apollo Bakery or at Mr Tu's, boith in Flushing. Their mooncakes are somewhat different from the stock Cantonese variety: they have a lovely Hokkien twist as the owner is Taiwanese. For a more standard Cantonese rendition,I would check out Carnation on Kissena Blvd

    Sorry, I just realized that all my recommendations are in Queens and that I am simply not that familiar with bakeries in Chinatown. But there is no way for me to delete my post.

    1 Reply
    1. re: diprey11

      haha its ok, im dont usually like most of the bakeries in flushing that much, but i haven't had the hokkien kind of mooncakes in a while, so maybe ill trek out

    2. I'm not big on traditional mooncakes (not a fan of a big old salted yolk and not a fan of the stickiness of the lotus seed filling), so I kind of just go through the motions for the sake of the occasion.

      Went with the cheapest tin at one of the Chinatown supermarkets. Don't remember the name of the market, but it does cooked foods ($2.75 for roast pork over rice), bakery, and deli as well and has two entrances.

      The brand is called "empire" and the selection is called "incomparable". I haven't tasted it yet, but it seemed really inexpensive to me. $14 for 4 mooncakes, two traditional (lotus paste/one yolk) and two red bean paste/one yolk, individually packaged and all in a tin.

      1. If you enjoy or like 綠豆椪 then you should give Lung Moon a try. I am told they will make 綠豆椪 upon special request/order.

        11 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          interesting, thanks for the tip

          they are known for their mooncakes in the local chinatown community

          1. re: Lau

            Truth be told, L, the best mooncakes are really to be found in Flushing.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              i should do a better job of looking for them out there

              that said i actually think the bakeries in manhattan are generally better than flushing

              1. re: Lau

                I think it depends on what you are looking for.

                Manhattan has bakeries that tend to be old-school Canto-style.

                Flushing has more Taiwanese and nouveau HK-type bakeries.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  thats true, you do have taiwanese bakeries in flushing whereas you have none in the city. I guess i'm comparing cantonese to cantonese (i find the cantonese bakeries in flushing somewhat underwhelming even the ones like sun mary which people rave about). any specific ones you've found are good?

                  i do like Yeh's bakery, which is taiwanese

                  1. re: Lau

                    Apollo is good for cakes.

                    New Flushing is obviously famous for its Macau egg tarts but I think their egg salad buns are pretty darn good.

                    1. re: Lau

                      Iris cafe opened a location on St Marks, its more of a modern taiwanese bakery.

                      1. re: Shirang

                        oh yah? hmm any good?

                        i love modern bakeries in taiwan, they're so good

          2. Walked by the dried seafood shop, where they sold dried seahorse, dried scallops etc, they were also selling Wing Wah 榮華 mooncake. At least the box said so, not sure if it is the real Wing Wah 榮華, since I have not checked carefully.

            When it comes to mooncake, though I am not a fan due to the fatty factors, I think the best one from Hongkong were Wing Wah 榮華 or Saint Honore 聖安娜. I like the lotus past or green bean past or green tea paste ones. you may find either in Chinatown. Just don't think they are the real ones.

            There are some local made moon cakes. Surprised to find some 五仁月饼,literally five nuts mooncakes, originally from northern Canton province. I found it in the Wing Wah bakery on Grand between Bowery and Elizabeth.

            1. BTW anyone has seen "ice skin" mooncake in Manhattan? I am craving for it :(

              12 Replies
              1. re: nomadmanhattan

                ive heard they are available here, but ive yet to see them anywhere

                1. re: nomadmanhattan

                  Do you mean specifically from st honore?
                  At the supermarket where I bought my cheap cheap mooncakes I could've sworn I saw some that had ice skin, though not a name brand.

                  1. re: fooder

                    @ fooder Hmm, I guess as long as they make it right, i don't really care if they are exactly the brand I prefer. Technically, they are just sticky rice skin (sticky rice powder, so a bit chewier than regular and very thin). Where did you see them?

                    Or, the easy way, I would just ask my mom send me one from HK, though the price shipping here might just expensive as the mooncakes :/

                    @Lau I am going to do a ice skin moon cake hunt. Will report later.

                  2. re: nomadmanhattan

                    Just curious.

                    Do you buy those snowskin or ice skin mooncakes for looks or taste?

                    Cuz if it's the latter, I'd much rather just have a traditional mung bean filled mochi.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      For the taste and the look. I think it is quite different from mochi.

                      Background story about ice skin or snowy mooncake were first introduced by HK Tai Pan Bakery in 1989 (not the same one in Chinatown, which is a knock off). And they have expanding the lines of flavor over the years, from traditional lotus seed to nowadeays Hazelnut and Coffee Bean Paste.

                      While you may think the mooncake skin is the same material as mochi, the texture is not exact the same inside and out. the snowy mooncake skin is very thin, while mochi is thicker. The stuffing of a mooncake are more complicated than regular mochi and hence and supposedly more expensive. Last but not least, it is a chinese tradition. I cannot just eat a piece of mochi and psych myself to believe I am eating snowy mooncake lol.

                      1. re: nomadmanhattan

                        Yes, I know. I am quite familiar with snowskin mooncakes, and to me they taste like stale mochi that's been left unwrapped in the fridge for a day or two.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Well maybe snowy moon cake just not your thing then.

                          I am not huge fan of any moon cakes, strictly speaking. But once in a year, I would wish a bite of the Tai Pan snowy mooncake or even better, the Haagen dazs dark chocolate ice cream mooncake :/

                          I am feeling nostalgic.

                          1. re: nomadmanhattan

                            Honestly my favorite mooncake is Haagen Dazs.
                            But then again I also drink milk while eating my mooncake. I think it tempers the sweetness of the paste, highlights the saltiness of the yolk, and the creamy finish makes the sticky texture better for me.

                            1. re: fooder

                              That brought up my memories. I, sort of, washing it down with green tea. It shall help digestion and clean the palate.

                            2. re: nomadmanhattan

                              I, too, do not like mooncakes. And I usually help my mom make them nearly every year during the weekend before 中秋節.

                              I don't even bother with store-bought ones. Unless they're homemade (by me or others) fuggettaboutit.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                fooder - ive always meant to try those, thanks for reminding me

                                nomadmanhattan / ipsedixit - i think mooncake have to be one of the most divisive food for chinese people, people tend to love or hate them. i love them, but i have this tendency to like old people desserts (half the rest of my family hates them)

                      2. re: nomadmanhattan

                        I've only seen snowskin mooncakes at Double Crispy, but I don't remember them being very good.